Myrtle spurge (Euphorbia myrsinites) is blooming in neighborhoods west of Cedaredge. This weed is in the same family as the highly invasive leafy spurge (Euphorbia esula).
Myrtle spurge has recently been designated as a List A noxious weed by the Colorado Department of Agriculture and is targeted for eradication. This perennial weed is often found in rock gardens and is moving into natural areas where it has the potential to do enormous environmental damage. The plant has trailing stems with fleshy blue-green alternate leaves. Myrtle spurge is also commonly called donkey-tail spurge.
This species is not yet widespread in Colorado, and should be a priority for immediate eradication if found. As with other plants which reproduce solely by seed, integrated management efforts of myrtle spurge must include the elimination of seed production and the depletion of the seed bank. Combine herbicide or mechanical removal of rosettes with removal of flowering parts from any plants that have bolted.
Although it can be removed by hand, this member of the spurge family (Euphorbiaceae), contains a milky sap that is caustic to skin and eyes. Rubber gloves should be worn when pulling this plant. Hands should be washed after handling this plant. The best herbicide that is available to the general public is a combination of dicamba and 24D. The trade name is Weed Free Zone. It may be purchased at most hardware stores and local garden supply centers. No license is required. Do not use large amounts under trees.